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The Life and Times of Barbara Joan Gudger White
Barbara was born in Boston, Massachusetts on July 30, 1929 to Robert Howard Gudger and Natalie Osborn Gudger, the third of four other children, Natalie Virginia, Gloria Raida, Nancy Lee and Robert Osborn. She attended schools there through High School and later studied stenography then sought and was accepted for employment as a Department of the Army Civilian with an assignment in Asia.
She was flown to Seattle with several other young women where they were to embark on a ship for Japan. At that point fate took a slight turn inasmuch as at that same time an Army First Lieutenant, one Hal Douglas White, was on his way to join the ongoing war in Korea. He being aboard early was watching others coming up the gang way when he espied the aforementioned group of young women about to board. He fixed on one of the group and muttered to himself “that one is mine”. During the ensuing week at sea he managed to make himself known and to spend considerable time with Barbara.
Upon docking in Japan Barbara departed to Tokyo to ultimately become secretary to General Coverdale. Hal flew to Korea where despite the ongoing war was able to talk with her by phone practically every night on 0230 in the morning.
After Korea Hal was reassigned to Yokohama, Japan some 30 minutes South of Tokyo by train; a trip made often. Upon completion of their tours of duty both returned to San Francisco on the same ship and she returned to Boston and Hal to an assignment in Miami, Florida. Ultimately she came to Miami and the two were married by a Navy Chaplain at the Marine Corps Air Station in Opa Locka, Florida. Took two years but the muttered “she’s mine” finally was fulfilled.
Then began the usual Army game of moving from place to place around the world, Florida to Maryland, to Alabama, to Germany, to Virginia, back to Maryland, to Kansas where she remained while Hal went to play in the war in Vietnam. Then came, Hawaii and then an assignment to the Presidio of San Francisco where after two years Hal retired from the Army and a move was made to Maine. While all this was underway Barbara managed to attend colleges in Japan and in Hawaii and reached Senior standing but never complete a degree.
During all those years LDS Missionaries had on three for four occasions knocked on their door but at times when other requirements made it impractical to hear their message. Finally in California they came again and at last found success. By this time two sons had become part of the family, Erik Hunter in Florida and Laird Alan in Germany. All were baptized in The Pacifica California Stake and later Hal and Barbara were sealed in the Oakland Temple.
The two years in Maine was singularly interesting because Summer came on Tuesday both years. That fact prompted a decision to move back to warmer climes and Kaysville and the Kaysville 8th Ward have been home for 45 years. Upon moving to Kaysville Hal found employment in the Corporation of the President at Church Headquarters and Barbara served as secretary to the Church Correlation Committee for a number of years. Later she served in the Young Women’s Program and then as Ward Family History Consultant. She has been deeply involved in research into her own genealogy and found time to prod Hal to do the same. Hal and Barbara served a couples Mission to the LDS Maryland Baltimore Mission in 1994-95.
Barbara’s “Sunday Dinner” became a custom that started with four and expanded to as many as sixteen. It was an occasion when the entire family met together and enjoyed a feast of food, conversation, fun, love and respect. It was a solidifying event bonding all together as a “family” not just a group of people. This wonderful event was like a big ball of glue that held us together and was still carried forward even during the last weeks of her life.
Declining health and strength over the past several months overtook her and she has been in and out of the hospital several times, most recently in Intensive Care at Davis Hospital but expressed a desire to return “home”. This move was accomplished on July 3, 2018. Early in the morning on July 6, 2018, with Hal at her side, she left this life for a better one. In another 24 days she would have been 89 years young.
She is survived by husband Hal, sons Erik and Laird, Erik’s three daughters Alexis Dawn Tarwater, KelseyAnne White and Morgan Leigh White; Laird’s two sons and three daughters Reuben Scott White, Niall Connor White, Rachel Dawn Lodder, Madeline Joan Southwick and Greta Bryn Whtie; and now two great-granddaughters; Mabel Dawn Lodder, and Zoraida Joan Southwick.
Graveside services will be held Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 3 p.m. at Kaysville City Cemetery, 500 E. Crestwood Road.
Services entrusted to Lindquist’s Kaysville Mortuary, 400 North Main.